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>> eliot: that's "viewpoint" for tonight. have a great >> jennifer: i'm jennifer grandholm tonight in "the war room" there's mutiny afoot. who will save this ship of fools? team romney moves from pull-on panic to finger pointing with acceptance and grieving sure to follow. the campaign is a mess. but this is a ceo group backed by the party of responsibilities, no surprise that only one man will shoulder the responsibility and that man is stewart stevens. way, who? ♪
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>> jennifer: have a disastrous week that had rom any slipping in the polling and bungling his response town rest in the middle east. his campaign is going into serious reboot mode. what is he doing now? he is rolling out new ads, hyping up his stale-old, five-point plan. a detail free document that didn't get any traction the last time he rolled it out. >> trade has to work for america. that means crack down on trade fors like china. next balance the budget. we have got to cut the deficit. and finally, champion small business. we put those in place we'll add 12 million new jobs in four years. >> five points. where is this new -- well
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actually this old strategy coming from? "politico" from this morning, it's all top romney campaign strategist stewart stevens. he's reportedly not only the campaign's chief strategist, but also its chief ad maker and chief speech writer. those were three different positions in the obama and bush campaign. so you stevens is reportedly pushing for romney to keep dodging the specifics. all of this is happening as the specifics of steven's only life are becoming quite an issue. this guy is kind of amazing. not only is he a strategy and an ad maker and speech writer but he is also an adventurer, and a hollywood screen writer and on top of all of that he was a
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strategist, for bob dole mccain, and george w. bush. now romney is trying to place the problems squarely on steven's shoulders. hum. but it is really stevens' fault or is he maybe beingscape goated as republicans trip over each other running away from mitt romney. here is the truth. it isn't the strategist it's not even the candidate. but the truth is it's the policies stupid. as conservative commentator dave frum tweeted this morning . . . and you know what he's right? the majority of americans just
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are not buying what the republicans are selling. republicans are pushing tax cuts for the wealthy, but a whopping 58% of americans believe the wealthy aren't paying their fair share according to pew research center. the republicans propose tighter regulations on wall street. on the issue of medicare republicans are advocating a voucher system. republicans advocate increased defense spending. on energy even after republicans ran around screaming about solyndra for months 59% of americans still favor government investment into renewable energy. on every measure the policies are terrible, and americans
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don't agree with them. and that might be the reason why the romney campaign has gone light on policy issues. so it might not be help because in ohio today the president capitalized on romney's lack of specifics. >> obama: now the other side they are more than happy to talk about what they think is wrong with america. they won't tell you how it started. [ laughter ] >> obama: but they are happy -- they are happy to talk about what is wrong. they don't do much to -- to tell you what they are going to do to make it right. >> jennifer: and then late this afternoon even as romney was scrambling to get his message on track. yet another shoe dropped. mother jones released audio secretly recorded at a romney
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closed door event, saying that the majority of romney supporters just want government >> jennifer: i just can't even speak that is so sickening. do you think mitt romney that seniors on medicare are looking for a handout; that they feel like victims? do you think that people who are on unemployment because people like you shipped their jobs over seas are looking for a handout? do you think poor children that receive lunches in schools are look for a handout? have you no decency?
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compassion? have you no clue? so republicans even further down the ticket are suffering. to suffer with comments like that. in massachusetts where romney was governor, president obama is up by 16 points. they know him best folks. and elizabeth warren, thank goodness is benefiting with a big bump. she leads scott brown 48-46%. according to a new ppp poll. but here is what is really amazing. that's a seven point gain just since august. keep it up mitt romney but despite all of the evidence that the romney campaign is in need of serious repair stewart stevens seems to be writing his own fictional screen play telling "politico," i think mitt
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romney is going to win. in that case i would guess it's a horror movie. joining me now is author of that article jim vanderhei. jim thank you so much for joining us inside "the war room." >> good to be here. thanks for having me. >> jennifer: you bet. is stewart stevens being scapegoated for a lousy campaign. >> is it his fault? probably not. it's romney who is really i think dictated the strategy of trying to keep the focus on the economy. if you look at our story today, clearly a lot of republicans are trying to make stewart the
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scapegoat. listen, he controls the message, the speeches, the convention, all three are a mess so he is to blame. so there are inside the romney campaign who feel he is a problem. >> jennifer: don't you think that blaming the strategist is the first sign of a dying campaign? >> i don't think you have ever blame the strategist. one thing i have learned from covering particularly presidential campaigns, they just reflect the person at the top. george bush's campaign reflected him. it was very tightly controlled, and focused on one or two issues. barack obama again reflected like his own sensibilities. you have that same thing here with mitt romney. he is a cautious politician.
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he does not want to engage in a idealogical war right now, he wants to keep his focus on president obama. he never thought have a war of very specific big ideas to fight over whether or not you partially privatize medicare. >> jennifer: well, jim, if i got this right if it's a reflection of him, his campaign is a mess. so he is a mess. that's all there is to it. >> there is definitely a element of the campaign that is a mess. there is definitely the stewart stevens parts of the campaign is a mess but the fund-raising operations those run more efficiently, but having this chaos reflects poorly on mitt romney. >> jennifer: so you talk about
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the fund-raising operation, and him being quoted -- of course i am biased, but that statement that he made that was taped, what impact is that going to have talking about obama voters just wanting 47% just feel they are entitled? >> i just saw it as i was coming on. i read the transcript of the quote you just played. my guess it will have a pretty predictable impact. democrats are going to hate it and republicans are going to say, yes, yes, that's what we have been complaining about. >> jennifer: but he is saying that basically every single person who votes for obama is asking for a handout. it is such a huge insult and if
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he wants to get those disenchanted obama voters forget about it. >> yeah, at the end of the section he said something like for 47% of the country -- i really can't govern them because they want so much assistance. if you are the president, you have to govern the whole stinking country. you get us all. and i think that's the part where i'm sure internally they are cringing. because he is trying to portray that he gets it. >> jennifer: jim quickly, there is another element of your story which i think deserves focus, because romney's turn around expertise at bain come into question if he can't turn his campaign around? >> that's an interesting question. i have been asked about whether or not the effectiveness of you running a campaign whether
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that's a good indicator of whether someone would be effective leader. a campaign is nearly the size of the federal government but it is a massive undertaking. and one of his theories is listen, i have run companies, i have run the olympics. and he said i can run it like a company. it will be efficient and drama free. i think it's fair for voters to say, wait a minute, your campaign isn't running efficiently. >> jennifer: so just really quickly, stewart stevens is being blamed in this process story for -- allowing clint eastwood, for the failure to mention afghanistan at the republican convention. in your opinion if those problems didn't happen, do you think romney would be up in the
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polls? >> you know, that's a really good question. conservatives would argue that maybe like -- you can sort of write off one or two of those things, but in totality had they had a good romney been very specific about a few different things, it is plausible he would be winning. nationally right now the president is up by three points. that's not a huge number. so it's not like you have to move the dial that much with a small group of swing voters to have this thing tied. i think that's why conservatives are increasingly vocal and on the record, by the way in their critique of romney because they say listen, we have a bad economy an up popular president, why can't we win this? their conclusion is because we
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don't have a great candidate. >> jennifer: i would say they don't have very good policies either. jim, i really appreciate you coming inside "the war room." jim vanderhei of "politico." coming up, policy personality, politics juggle it all right now. and the chicago teacher's strike remains unsettled, and that's not the kind of news that team obama wanted to weak up to. and plus more of mitts secrets and lies. the terrible irony of it all, not to mention the terrible things h
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right by those who gave their lives to for this country nearly 70 years ago. ♪ >> jennifer: so here is a question, what was mitt romney's presidential campaign and the old nbc series "i'll fly away" have in common? clearly it is not samb waterston. no the answer is none other than stuart stevens.
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he worked on that show back in the day. coming to us tonight from cambridge, massachusetts is mark mckinnon who is the man who helped stevens break into politics. he is founder of no labels a non-partisan group seeking to solve the nation's problems. mark welcome back into "the war room." >> thank you governor. >> jennifer: so you hired stuart twice to work on the george w. bush campaign. did you ever imagine he would be leading a national campaign? >> not surprised a bit. there are very few people in the business who have been around as long as stuart. i remember when this happened to us in 2000. we were out of the conventions, and we 3 on its down. and everybody thought we should
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be fired including me. then we went into the debates and flipped the three points and were suddenly all ahead. the notion that stuart would be getting all of these criticism is ridiculous. stuart is a big boy and he can handle this, but he is perfectly capable of running the show. >> jennifer: it is very interesting, because everybody wants to shoot somebody, and a good strategist would be willing to step up and take a bullet. there are a few flubs that have been attributed to stuart. we learned that the clint eastwood speech was green lit by him. and he apparently has a creative side. should he be blamed for that? >> he also worked on northern
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exposure, so we is very creative, but he has a great team around him. i read the criticism that he is a creative guy, and shouldn't be wearing three hats. well karl rove was a direct mail guy before he ran a campaign. stewart is not making the ads anymore. the notion that stepped in on a speech eight days ahead of time. hell, eight days is enough time to write war and peace. and for whatever reason he thought there was a problem and stepped in and redirected it. >> jennifer: all right. so let's put him aside for just a second. everybody is saying that the romney campaign is imploding. folks on the left and on the right. it's especially relevant to the folks on the right.
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do you think that the campaign is in meltdown? >> well, governor, i would rather be the obama team than romney's team at this point, and i think they have a lot to do in a very short period of time. and i don't think they can waste another day with distractions. the debates are going to be critical. i think there is a huge opportunity there. listen, i have plenty of my own criticism about the there should have been a lot more policy, a lot more specifics, a lot earlier on. but i know that stuff happens, and as we saw last week on foreign policy external events will expose themselves, so there are a few more chapters to play out in my opinion. >> jennifer: yeah, you are right. but you mentioned they should have been more specific about policy. david frum was tweeting today
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that part of the problem is the policies, and the american people don't like the policies they are putting out there. if you were giving them advice would you tell them to be more specific about these policies? >> yeah, i would. and i -- i -- in some ways my prediction they got in a lot of while for saying out loud a while ago is coming true. when they picked dramatic pick, and they kind of ironic % outcome of all of that is that in some ways ryan has be sublimated. a friend of mine says he knows the answer to the test but they won't let him say it. i would like a more vigorous discussion about voucherization because i think it's a terrific
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plan. >> jennifer: it's interesting, because i think it's your guy stuart who has been saying we shouldn't be specific. but mark i'm so grateful for you coming inside "the war room." >> all right. i'll see you next week. >> jennifer: all right. there's not much president obama and mitt romney
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♪ >> jennifer: and now to my point. so today is the one-year anniversary of occupy wall street which has obviously shined a light on the uneven economic playing field faced by so many people. the huge loss in american manufacturing jobs this century means that the trade playing field has dramatically tilted in
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favor of countries with low wages, subsidized industries and protective tariffs. countries like china. between 2001 and 2010 the u.s. lost half of all of its auto parts jobs. most of them went to china. our market has been flooded with a 700% increase in chinese-made auto parts in that same period of time. so how did those u.s. jobs move? because multinational companies took advantage of china's aggressive moves to and they relocated there. a company called global tech appliances for instance. publicly acknowledged that its strategy was to profit from prominent u.s. companies outsourcing production abroad. that, of course is what outsourcing is all about.
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and one way china creates a tilted playing field is by adding duties and tariffs, basically fees to us-made products that come into their country. like china receives our products and there is a fee on it when the u.s. exports auto parts to china. they have actually put $36 billion worth of duties on us-made auto parts experts. that's 80% of our experts that are marked up just for being american. that makes our products more expensive in china. it means they are less likely to sell over there, which less exports business and jobs back here. china also unfairly tilts the field by lower the price of chinese-made exports sold here in the u.s. not just by lowering labor costs, but also by big government subsidies to those
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companies which makes their products cheaper to manufacture, cheaper to sell. is that fair? of course not. it is the very definition of unfair trade. our stuff is more expensive over there, their stuff is less expensive over here. it's a steeply-tilted playing field. what can we do? the u.s. can bring a trade action against china to stop their unfair practices at the world trade organization, the wto. which is exactly what the obama administration did today. it's the ninth such enforcement action brought by the two times as many as in the four years under the bush administration did, and they did it in eight years. so of course like any cartoon villain, mitt romney immediately claims that the obama administration isn't doing enough. instead of supporting these
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tough efforts and enforcement. mitt romney is distorting the trust and really twisting his own past. surprise surprise. because mitt romney was in large by the way of bain capital when bain was running the global tech the, quote, pioneer of outsourcing, which profited from outsourcing. bain capitol controlled global tech and corporate software incorporated and gt bicycle incorporate, and fmtc corporation, all of which shipped jobs to china. mitt made millions by exploiting the very uneven playing field that the president is fix. president obama is trying to bring home the jobs that mitt romney helped to send away. everybody knows this. the press, the president, even china, who said last week it is rather ironic that a considerable portion of this
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china-battering politician's waelt was actually obtained by doing business with chinese companies before he entered politics. everybody knows what mitt romney stood for yesterday. everyone, apparently except for mitt romney today. this of course is just the latest unbelievable unacceptable example of romney contorting himself to suit his political ambitions when he wanted a personal fortune he profited from unfettered free trade and sending job from the people of ohio to the government of china, but today when he votes, he is doing what he does best. lying and flip flopping his past. sorry mitt, these people are working too hard on an extremely uneven playing field and they know who til
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♪ >> obama: i want to make a restaurant reservation, or book a flight? you don't need it with the new iphone. try another tax cut. >> jennifer: that's president obama using a little humor to mock the republicans tax cut policy. as do the new two ads that are shows from the romney war room one on the debt and the other one on romney's plan for the joining me now are two savvy political strategists, karl frisch, who is in washington, d.c. he has worked for both howard
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dean and john mccain and here inside "the war room" is susan kennedy, who served as chief of staff to former california governor arnold schwarzenegger. before that she ran the state's democratic party. both of you here. both sides represented. susan i want to start with you. i want to play the little clip from the secret tape that was made inside of a fund raiser that mitt romney was speaking at, and i want to get your reaction it to. 47% who are with him all believe we're entitled to free whatever stuff from government. do you think that this is a damaging quote? >> i think you going to see governor romney backing away from that quote.
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at this point in time you can't afford to have your hyper bolly get away from him. >> jennifer: i think he is going to have to walk it back. what do you think karl? >> i guess conservatives must think irony has a liberal bias. because i couldn't think of anything more ironic than what mitt romney said. there would have been no bain capital if it wasn't for a corporation putting its hand out for money. there would be no mitt romney if it wasn't for his familiar coming here from mexico, and there would not be all of the, quote unquote, successes he has for the government's assistance.
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and 47% of the country -- >> jennifer: only the obama supporters. >> yeah, i would look at the constitution and say these are things that we are constitutionally guaranteed. >> i think we have to be careful with that. >> joy: if you paid [overlapping speakers] -- >> jennifer: that is an insurance program in you want to get back. but, hey, karl, so tonight we have talked a bit about not just this incident, but the other romney campaign struggles. i want to get your campaign strategist hats on inside the war room. how does the obama war room take advantage of what mitt romney's goofs are? >> well this is again, the president's reelection so anything his campaign does on the inside to fan the flames
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here is going to get some traction. so if i'm his communications team right now i'm talking to reporters about this and gossiping about what other things could be happening over there. remember the mark hallprin book came out later. and the harder the romney campaign struggles to put a lid on this or hold things tight, the more difficult it will be for him. the stevens character doesn't have a lot of friends on the inside of the campaign. >> jennifer: that's a really great point. susan, the stevens issue should romney be making personnel changes this lategame? >> he has some time but he
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can't wait a day. >> jennifer: but do you blame this one guy for all of this stuff? >> no, but a campaign when you are hearing this kind of internal strife and finger pointing that's a campaign in trouble. >> jennifer: ed gillespie has apparently been moved out. karl i want you to listen to a new tv campaign the romney campaign put out today. >> romney: my plan is to help the middle class. crack down on cheaters like china and open up new markets. next balance the budget cut the deficit, stop spending more than
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we come in. >> jennifer: so karl did the president outflanking the romney campaign today? >> i think so. i mean that's the power of the presidency at work though. he can do things like mitt romney takes bland promises in campaign commercials. again, this is mitt romney and it's very easy for the president and his supporters to point out that mitt romney has had no problems working with the chinese when it comes to out sourcing to china. so it is problematic for him as well. especially in the industrial midwest where the quick -- >> i
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>> jennifer: you guys thank you so much. >> thank you, governor. >> jennifer: after the break no easy answers in the chicago teacher's strike. but there could be some solutions from the new haven
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[ shouting ] ♪ >> jennifer: there you see striking members of chicago's teacher's union protesting the mayor's plans to reform the city's education system. emmanuel is demanding that teachers work longer and more days, while educators are asking for higher salaries safer schools, and more school supplies. lawyers for the school system
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and the mayor filed suit today seeking injunction that would put the teachers back in the classroom. chicago may want to take a look to new haven connecticut's school system for tips on solving their problems. joining us tonight is david cicarella. he is president of the new haven federation of teachers that is an offshoot of the american federation of teachers which represents the teachers in chicago. president obama honored him for teachers for change. he is coming to us from new york city. welcome inside "the war room." >> thank you, governor. >> jennifer: you bet. so how were you able to reach a
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deal in new haven? >> yeah, perhaps just a few items that were front and center when we began our negotiations and school change initiative. one it was going to systemic reform. and that was reform from top to bottom. teacher evaluation was one part of it. but that was just one important issue, secondly, that the accountability had to be top to bottom. teachers certainly, we need to be accountable responsible, no question about that. but so do administrators parents, and themselves -- >> jennifer: so principals and administrators are also evaluated based on student achievement? >> absolutely. >> jennifer: how critical was that? >> i think it was the most
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important in terms of getting teacher buy-in. because we couldn't just seal like we're going to fix the teacher problem. there is this notion if you change all of the teachers, everything will be fine in public education and we certainly needed to do some work on our side of the fence, but there's a lot more to public education than just that. >> jennifer: which is a really important point, and since these evaluations have been put into place, i want to say somewhat some 70 teachers have been let go in new haven. is that very difficult for you and controversial? >> yeah, a bit. i mean that's -- again, that's a fairly -- relatively small percentage, but even when one or two persons -- people are removed from their jobs it's difficult. it's a difficult conversation you have to have with a colleague, but if they are
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evaluated comprehensibly and at the end of the year everyone's best efforts if a teacher is not performing effectively, we understand a change needs to be made. >> jennifer: the unions are a perfect place to go for that excellence. i would love to take a listen to a sound bite from karen lewis. take a listen. >> there is no trust for our members of the board. i can't tell you how many people said this wasn't here that wasn't in writing, we didn't get it. the trust level is just not there. >> jennifer: david, how do you get people to work together when there seems to be no trust between the sides. >> that was one of the other
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points i was trying to make. we felt from the beginning we were treated as equal partners. and there's -- the three of us -- we had our representatives there, but throughout the entire process our input was valued and incorporated, so it was a matter of respect on both sides. >> jennifer: and it took a while, i'm assuming for you to get your contract. >> it did. we spent almost a full school year, and people ask me what is the reason for the success, i would say it was the time we did spend obviously we needed to get something in place but we spent the full school year with teachers and administrators working side by, parents in the room as well and at the end of the year, we were able to come out with an agreement that everyone felt was fair.
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>> jennifer: quickly, do you think the chicago strike will have an impact on other municipalities? should they look to you guys? >> i don't want to say -- >> jennifer: go ahead, brag.you. yes, they should look to you guys. >> thank you, governor. we are very pleased. it is not perfect, but we feel we have done a lot of good work as we enter the third year. and chicago it is going to be very much the same for other municipalities. and it's never about wages and benefits completely. whether we get a 3% or 4% raise, that's not going to change our livelihood. you have class sizes, no textbooks five, six weeks into the school year, so you'll find they are pretty much the same.
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most of the teachers want the other issues addressed. >> jennifer: david thank you so much for coming on and sharing a success story. a champion for teachers and students as david cicarella from the new haven, connecticut public school system. up next, brett ehrlich simplifies the complexities of a political campaign in the onl it's go time. it's go time. it's go time. go time. you know what time it is. go time. it's go time. it's go time. what time is it rob? here comes the young turks go time! it's go time. oh is it? then it's go. go. go. go. go. go. go. go time. anybody? anybody? what time is it? oh, right. go time! only on current tv.
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you disgust me. prove it. enough is enough. d-con baits are specially formulated to kill in one feeding. guaranteed. d-con. get out. jennifer speaks truth to power.
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>>the bottom line is we need an amendment. >>now it's your turn. connect with "the war room" jennifer granholm. >>it's a call to arms. make your voice heard. a >> jennifer: in our visit to crazytown today we'll take a peak at the voter's summit. at one point, old favorite rick santorum took to the stage and he had this to say. >> we will never have the elite smart people on our side. >> jennifer: now, he really does have a point. if they keep supporting backwards policies that hurt families in our country, those smart people are never going to support the representatives of crazytown. and on a day when the pundit try opined about mitt romney's
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flailing campaign, perhaps it is fitting that we end the show with sampler examination of mitt romney's campaign, and there's no one more simple than brett ehrlich. so shhhh, brett's talking now. >> as time goes on romneys chances of winning seem to be as getting through an episode of real housewives with no drama. political as reported that in an attempt to counter act this downward spiral the romney campaign is unveiling a new strategy. status quo versus change! huh? that's it. is it just me? or does that remind you of something? oh, that's right, it's the obama
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strategy only with latin. this beat out their other strategy. so why this shift other than the whole losing thing? you see romney's previous strategy was to focus on the economy. but he could never stay on message, and whenever he went off message, the media would jump on him for the place. so no one can criticize him for going off message, because the message itself is to be all over the place. so what if this strategy doesn't work? i don't know, maybe they can take their cues from those l.a. bank robbers. >> the suspects are now throwing money out the window. >> couldn't hurt. i'm done talking now. >> jennifer: all right. someone is always in our "war room," check us out online at current.com/thewarroom, you can also check out our
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The War Room With Jennifer Granholm
Current September 17, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

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